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Kenyan Athletes Warming up for Commonwealth Youth Games
    2008-10-03 16:40:14     Xinhua
Kenyan athletes have started the final preparations for the Commonwealth Youth Games which will be held later this month in India.

Kenya will compete in athletics, boxing,swimming, table tennis, badminton, wrestling and lawn tennis at the October 12-18 Games.

"We expected all the teams to have arrived by the end of the Thursday as we gear towards having our final touches before departing for India," athletics' team manager, Paul Tuikong according to the Daily Nation.

Athletics will form the bulk of the team to the Commonwealth team and some 12 runners have already reported to camp at Kasarani.

World junior and world youth 3,000m champion Mercy Cherono is expected to lead a star studded Kenyan team at the youth Games.

The 17 year old Cherono is undoubtedly the most experienced athlete in the team having won the world youth crown in Ostrava in a personal best time of 8:53.94 in 2007 and followed it up with another win at this year's World Junior Championships in Poland.

The team consists of four athletes who did duty for the country at the World Junior championships in Poland in July where Kenya finished third with four gold, five silvers and two bronze.

World junior 3,000m steeplechase champion Jonathan Muia who triumphed in Poland will compete in the 1500m race. Muia and Grace Kimanzi, who are both based in Japan, will link with the team in India.

"The two have been training in Japan, and we saw no need of having them come all the way to Kenya then travel to India. They will just join the rest of the team in India," said Tuikong.

Stacy Ndiwa who finished last in the final in the women's 1500m in Bydgoszcz will compete in her specialty. "I'm confident of replicating my performance of Poland while in India. I have been training hard for these games and my training will pay back," observed Ndiwa.

Ndiwa is the younger sister to Mangata Ndiwa who won the Junior World Cross Country title in 2006. Grace Kimanzi who reached the semifinals in Poland will also be looking for improved fortunes in the two-lap race.


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